There is a sense of community and fun, and they are great places to hang out or have breakfast.
The Benefits of Farmers Markets
Produce is tasty and fresh (commercial food is factory farmed, picked early, stored for months, gassed to ripen and waxed for shine)!
Produce is in season - it is picked at the peak of flavour and is often organic, or at least chemical free.
Low carbon footprint - plastic bag free and locally grown, saves on transport mileage.
Produce is homemade and handmade nothing is commercially processed.
Melbourne Farmers markets have become very popular in the last decade and are springing up everywhere. There are various levels of accreditation for Farmers Markets resulting in a vide array of markets:
Melbourne Community Farmers Markets
Community Farmers Markets
have become very hip and trendy. You can buy extraordinary delicatessen, as well as great tasting carrots and broccoli, delicious breakfasts and coffee. They are community based and open Saturday mornings till 1pm.
Each market is accredited: All stall holders are individual growers and farmers, with hands-on involvement in the production of their products. Resellers are not permitted.
There is fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheeses, bread, cakes, flowers and artisan foods. Products are guaranteed GM-free, and grown and produced with no or minimal chemicals. Organic produce is certified.
Veg Out St Kilda - 1st Saturday of the month. This grew out of a local community initiative that created garden plots on the site of the abandoned St Kilda bowling club - that was about to be developed into a carpark.
Peanut Farm Reserve, Chaucer Street, St Kilda.
Collingwood Children's Farm - 2nd Saturday of the month. This community owned market has been voted Australias Outstanding Farmers Market for 2010. It started in 2002 as a profile raiser for the imminent danger of losing the Collingwood Farm to a housing development. It has flourished with continued community support.
St Heliers St, Abbotsford
Gasworks Albert Park - 3rd Saturday of the month. This community growers market is located within the Gasworks Arts Park, a community arts precinct on the site of the former South Melbourne gas production plant.
21 Graham Street, Albert Park
Slow Food Melbourne - 4th Saturday of the month. This farmers market is located in the picturesque Abbotsford convent. Here you can learn about Slow Food principles and projects.
St Heliers St, Abbotsford
Organic Farmers Markets
This may be the next level of Melbourne Farmers Markets, with everything not only grown by local farmers, but certified organic. Visiting these markets you can learn why organic food is important - for you, the environment and the community and be part of a movement that supports this.
CERES Organic Market - every Wednesday & Saturday morning. Vegetables and fruit are, if possible, harvested from the CERES organic market gardens. This market is growing, with a greater product range in development.
8 Lee Street East Brunswick.
Organic Farmers Market at Queen Victoria Markets - 1st Sunday of the month. Meet the growers and food artisans and find a large collection of certified Organic Produce.
Queen Victoria Market.
Victorian Farmers Markets Association
Perhaps slightly less stringent than the markets listed above, are the authentic Melbourne farmers markets - accredited by the
Victorian Farmers Markets Association.
They offer predominantly local fresh food and produce that is fresh and straight of the farm, as well as associated value added primary products.
All four community markets above belong to this organization, as well as following others - all open till lunch:
Melbourne Showgrounds Farmers Market - every Sunday. This is the first of the Melbourne farmers markets established by this Association - with a guarantee that all stallholders grow or make the goods they sell.Federation Hall, Melbourne Showgrounds, Ascot Vale.
Kingston Farmers Market - every 1st Saturday of the month. It is run by the local council and Rotary Club, with a wide range of produce including organic fruit and vegetables, artisan cheeses and olive oils, breads and meats.
Sir William Fry Reserve, Nepean Hwy & Bay St, Highett.
Boroondara Farmers Market - 3rd Saturday of the month.
Patterson Reserve, Auburn Rd, East Hawthorn.
Park Orchards Farmers Market - 3rd Saturday of the month, run by two community groups, the Park Orchards Ratepayers Assoc. Inc and the Park Orchards Lions.
1-15 Hopetown Rd, Park Orchards.
Mt Eliza - 4th Sunday of the month. Mt Eliza Way & Canadian Bay Rd, Mt Eliza, near Frankston.
Hurstbridge Farmers Market - 1st Sunday of the month, at Fergusons Paddock on Arthurs Creek Road in Hurstbridge, in the Yarra Valley.
Casey-Berwick Farmers Market - 4th Saturday of the month. This market is run by the Berwick Rotary Club.
The Old Cheese Factory, 34 Homestead Rd, Berwick.
Australian Farmers Markets Association
Then there is the Australian Farmers Markets Association that has an even larger number of Melbourne farmers markets on its list.
It defines these as a predominantly fresh food markets that provide a suitable environment for farmers and food producers to sell farm-origin and associated value-added processed food products directly to customers so not quiet as stringent.
Bundoora Park Farmers' Market - 1st Saturday, Bundoora Park, Bundoora.
Spotswood Farmers Market - 1st Saturday. Lot of organic produce! Spotswood Primary School, Melbourne Rd, Spotswood.
North Melbourne Farmers Market - 1st Sunday. A true authentic farmers market with a vast array of "Victorian only" produce, with most stallholders playing a role in the production process. 210 Errol St, North Melbourne.
Caulfield Farmers Market - 2nd Saturday. Great range of deli-style foods as well as fresh produce. Neerim Booran Rds, Caulfield.
Croydon Farmers Market - 2nd Saturday, a Regional Farmers Market operating with strict criteria in regards to authentic produce. Hewish Rd, Croydon.
North Essendon Village Farmers Market - 2nd Saturday. Leake St & Lincoln Rd, Essendon.